The Beast, the Antichrist and the Harlot
When we read the prophetic statements of the Holy Scriptures in their entirety, we have a very clear picture according to Bible scholar and prophetic expert Dr. Roger Liebi. He gives here a view of understanding the end times.
It is necessary to take care where Biblical prophecy is concerned to avoid widespread errors. Thus, we must differentiate between the beast out of the sea (Revelation 13:1-10) and the beast out of the earth (Revelation 13:11-18). The first beast is a Gentile dictator of the revived (European) Roman Empire of the end times; the second beast is the future false messiah in Israel. The assumption is wrong that the coming dictator from Europe is the Antichrist. The Antichrist is the second beast, the false messiah of Israel, who is in place of Christ (i.e. Messiah) (1 John 2:18). Antichrist means false messiah. The false messiah will rule as a Jew in Israel (Daniel 11:36-39; Isaiah 30:33; Zechariah 11:15-17; John 5:43; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; 1 John 2:18; Revelation 6:1-2; 13:11-18; 16:13; 19:19-20). The coming “new Roman” dictator is no false messiah.
He is not the king of the north in Daniel 11 either. The king of the north is in the prophecy of Greater Syria (from Syria/Lebanon to Pakistan; Daniel 11:1-35). The beast out of the sea in Revelation 13, which has ten horns, corresponds with the fourth beast in Daniel 7. This beast symbolizes the Roman Empire.
The Antichrist, the second beast, is not the king of the north. The Antichrist, i.e. the false Messiah, is simply called “the king” (Daniel 11:36-39). He is clearly different from the king of the north (Greater Syria) and the king of the south (Egypt) (Daniel 11:40). Thus, it is clear that the Antichrist cannot be from Islam, i.e. from the Mahdi awaited by the Shiite Muslims. Yes, the Antichrist is a Jew who will not heed the God of his fathers, namely the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Daniel 11:37). He will initiate the worship of an image (Revelation 13:14-15; Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15). This does not correspond with Islam at all; it applies to the idolization of the two beasts (Revelation 13:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:4).
The beast out of the sea, who will be the Roman dictator, will exercise his tremendous influential power worldwide (Revelation 13:7), but the newly arisen Roman Empire will not embrace the whole world. The Bible speaks of various power blocs, which in a confrontation will bring humanity to the border of self-destruction (e.g. Revelation 9:1-5). The king of the north in Asia and in Africa will confront the West as an Islamic state. We must therefore differentiate rulers from each other. The beast out of the sea (Revelation 13:1); the beast out of the earth (Revelation 13:11); the king of the north (Daniel 11:40); the king of the south (Egypt; Daniel 11:40); the “chief prince” from the uttermost north (Ezekiel 38—39); the kings of the east (Revelation 16:12); and the harlot Babylon (Revelation 17—18).
The Antichrist will not bring about a time of peace and safety, as many people say. In 1 Thessalonians 5:3, it just says that in the end times they will continually say, “Peace and safety,” but the Scriptures do not speak of a state of peace through the Antichrist. The safety of which the prophetic Word speaks in Ezekiel 38:8 is the safety that the Lord Jesus will bring Israel after His return.
As the Antichrist is the second beast out of the earth, he will be king in Israel (Daniel 11:36-39) and will not build up his government seat in ancient Babylon, as many scholars think. At His return in Armageddon, the Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth (Revelation 16:14-15; 17:14; 19:19-20). The earthly Babylon, on the other hand, will be destroyed in the end times by a nation from the north and be made uninhabitable in connection with a brutal attack of the Medes (Kurds: Isaiah 13:17-21; Jeremiah 50—51).
The harlot Babylon mentioned in Revelation 17 cannot be Islam, then. The harlot Babylon is sitting on seven hills (Revelation 17:9). It is the city of kingship over the kings of the earth (Revelation 17:18). It is the seven-hill city of Rome. She is in contrast to the Bride of the Lamb, the New Jerusalem, which represents the true Church (Revelation 21:9ff.). Thus, she is a false church in Rome. She rules Europe, i.e. the Roman Empire (Revelation 17:3). This is, historically speaking, the Catholic Church, which sets up the kings and emperors. Her robes of scarlet (cardinals) and purple (bishops) characterize the high clergy of Rome (Revelation 17:4). Precious stones, gold and pearls portray the treasure chambers of the church (Revelation 17:4). The golden cup full of abominations (idolatry) represents the idolatrous center of the Church of Rome, the sacrifice in which the bread is worshiped as God (Revelation 17:4). She is drunken from the blood of the saints (Revelation 17:6), which is a fact, as the Church of Rome has killed hundreds of thousands of believers.
The coming “new Roman” dictator and his ten highest ministers will destroy this Roman harlot Babylon (Revelation 17:17). Thus, it becomes clear that the harlot Babylon cannot stand for a united world religion. The religion of the beast out of the sea and the beast out of the earth, namely the worship of the dictator as the God of forces (Daniel 11:38) and the Antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2), are not the same as the cult of the harlot of Babylon.
The harlot of Babylon is the “mother of harlots” (Revelation 17:5). All the churches which come from the Catholic Church in Rome and left the way of the saints are daughters of the harlot of Babylon, and therefore must be distinguished from her. As we say, like mother, like daughter (Ezekiel 16:44).
Thus, the harlot Babylon is not the restored ancient city of Babylon in Iraq. Babylon in Iraq is a picture of the false Church of Rome, the harlot Babylon, just as Jerusalem in Israel is a picture of the true Church, the new Jerusalem. The details in Revelation 17—18 do not fit Babylon in Iraq at all.
In view of the statements of Biblical prophecy, we cannot expect an end-times revival in Europe or the USA. Such a statement as some Christians claim fits the false prophets which are spoken of in Matthew 24:11-24 (2 Timothy 3—4, 2 Peter 2—3, Jude and 2 Thessalonians 2:3 speak of a great apostasy within professed Christianity). When we become aware of what prophecy in the Word of God really says, then we also see how important the Biblical call to watchfulness and sobriety is. No golden age will come before Jesus Christ appears, but a falling away.
News from Israel - 02/2017